Sunday, December 6, 2009

Passion fruit



For anyone who has never seen or tasted passion fruit, there are two types - purple passion fruit and yellow passion fruit, which differ in appearance but taste the same. The purple one is about the size of a large egg, almost round in shape. The other is quite a bit larger, round and about the size of an orange. This type is bright yellow on the outside. My passionfruit is the purple variety. In both cases the fruit is made up of a hardish outer casing, filled with many flesh covered seeds (which are the bits you eat).



Passion fruit grow on a vine. As you can see from the photos the leaves are dark green and glossy, its tendrils a paler green. I think it has the loveliest, most delicate looking flower of all the fruits I know of. A passionfruit vine is a lovely garden creeper. Mine grows along the back wall of the house, is trying to creep in through my kitchen and dining room windows so I must get another piece of trellis or something up to train it to go below the windows. It is growing over an old "walker" and an upside down bicycle and its wheels which are afixed to the house.



Commercially, it is grown in Brazil, the Caribbean, Australia, Africa and some areas of the southern United States.

Passion fruit has hundreds of medicinal properties that have been used throughout history. The natural chemicals in passion fruit are used to lower blood pressure, control spasms and treat asthma. The fruit and its leaves also work as a sedative, helping to induce sleep and calm nervousness or other mood disorders. Modern science has observed that passion fruit extracts can kill cancer cells in developing fetuses. Passion fruit is also thought to expel worms, kill bacteria and enhance the libido. I didn't know any of that until I look it up!

OK, that's the easy part.

Now, what does it taste like? That's difficult because I can't think of a single other thing it tastes like. It's tangy and a little sour, sometimes at the first scoop of the pulp you screw your face up a bit, but it's also sweet. I remember when they first ripened last year the grand-daughters asking, "What do they taste like" and all I could say was "Have a taste and see". The bits you eat are seeds in a sloppy jellylike substance, not very visually appealing, so I had a hard job convincing them they might like them. But one taste and they were sold and committed passionfruit thieves. The pulp is wonderful on yogurt, icecream, cheesecakes.

Oh gosh, I'm making myself drool. It would be heaven if they are ripe for Christmas!!

7 comments:

  1. There were some in the supermarket wish I'd got some now. A passion fruit and a bilberry or two, maybe a rose hip for luck and I'll live for ever. Thanks for an interesting post. Beautiful flowers.

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  2. Obviously I am one of those that this post was meant for...LOL. Very interesting but I must admit that the way you descibe it I think I would take quite a bit of coaxing to try it myself.

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  3. Aha! A new experience to give myself. I will buy one the next time I see one. Thanks!

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  4. I love the flowers - I have one on our patio and it flowers for months on end. Sadly the climate doesn't allow it to fruit though.

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  5. Hello Pauline, I have a passionfruit vine. I cut it right back this year. I am surprised it has started growing again. I will have to wait until next year now for some fruit. They were nearly $2.00 each in the shops the other week. Someone is making a good profit when you consider how many grow on a vine.Happy days.

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  6. They are just beautiful! Thanks for educating us on passion fruit.

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  7. Oh Pauline..beautiful shots..they are stunning! I adore passion fruit! Discovered them in Hawaii years ago! Sarah

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